Winter is upon us here in south Texas, and furnaces all over are kicking on to make toasty homes for the holidays. It’s a lovely time of year, but it can be an expensive one too. Fortunately, there are a lot of simple things you can do to ease the pain on your heating bill.

Here are seven tricks to save money on your gas bill.

Replace Weatherstripping

Have you ever done this? Ever? If you’re like most people, you havent. If you’re living in a newer home, your weatherstripping is probably in good shape.  But it does wear out over time, making your doorways draftier and draftier. At the very least, go through your home and inspect all the weatherstripping for corrosion or other damage. You might end up saving yourself a few dollars. About 10 percent of your home’s heat loss occurs around the doors. Keep those things sealed up.

Block off your Fireplace

If you’re not using your fireplace, the flue should definitely be closed, because you’re losing heat right out the top of your house, which is where heat wants to go. So: Close the flue. But even with it closed, you’re going to be losing some heat through your fireplace.

Enter the inflatable chimney balloon. Seriously. We’re not making this up. There are things called chimney balloons that you inflate and put in your chimney. If you forget to take it out before you start another fire, it will simply deflate, so there’s no added risk. They cost about $50, but typically save about $100 per year.

Insulate Attic Door

Most attic access doors are just wood, making the area a little drafty. You can seal that up, though, by insulating the door. First off, make sure the door is laying flat, then put some insulation on the attic side of it. Boom. You just saved some money.

Get a New Thermostat

And get a programmable one. That way, you can let your house rest colder when you’re not at home, using less gas. Programmable thermostats are cheap now, too. Typically, $25 will get you one that will serve your needs just fine. You’ll save way more than that once you start using it.

Use the Sun

Even when it’s cold outside, the sun’s rays are warm. So open the blinds on any sun-facing windows during the day, and let your heater work a little less hard.

Lock Your Doors

When you lock your doors, as opposed to simply closing them, they seal a little tighter. You’ve probably noticed this. Believe it or not, this makes a difference. It’s a good idea to lock your doors, anyway, but doign so can actually save you some money.

Tune Up Your Furnace

Did you know this was a thing? Well, it is, and it’s not hooey. Have a technician perform a tune-up on your furnace. He’ll not only be able to spot problems before they happen, your furnace will work more efficiently afterward. Expect to pay at least $100 for the service, but expect to save more than that once it’s done.

Do you have any tips we should know about? Let us know in the comments!